After a flight halfway across the globe, I arrived in Japan eager for the adventure that awaited me. Instantly, when I walked in to my new job where I would teach conversational English, a frenzied (but cute) guy came towards me. In an accent that seemed so foreign at the time–but that’d I’d soon grow accustomed to–he exclaimed how his student was absolutely nuts!!
I was a bit shell-shocked by this whirlwind of energy from Northern Ireland named Phil, and I immediately was at a loss for words. I thought he was so very, very cute, and when I was near him I got so nervous I couldn’t speak! I stared at his bright green eyes and giant smile trying to find the right thing to say. Basically, I resorted to just being awkwardly silent.
The relationship had extremely uncertain beginnings. Right away, he was headed to a vacation in Australia he’d been saving up time and money for, and soon after that, he was headed to Durham, England to complete a teaching course (sort of the equivalent of a master’s course here). I could hardly talk to the guy anyway, so I thought there was no potential there.
However, when Phil came back from his trip from Australia, I casually mentioned I had not yet been on the Ferris wheel that sat atop the Takashimaya department store, and he casually mentioned that I should go and he agreed to take me. It took a few dates to wear him down, but I eventually got him to realize I liked him. We had our first kiss under a full moon on the balcony of my apartment.
The timing was so totally wrong. He was leaving in mere months. However, my parents traveled to Japan for my dad’s IBM project with Sony, and it coincided with the week he would leave.
We met my parents in Kyoto and ventured through temples and shrines. In the restroom of a museum, my mom casually asked, “So, is he the one?”
And I responded confidently with a smile, “Yes, yes he is.”
The relationship was not without its hardships. We were apart for a year until we met up over Christmas and took a romantic trip to Prague and Vienna. Once his teaching course finished, he headed back to Japan where he had to find a job and readjust to life there all over again.
Eventually, we decided we wanted to make Austin home, and after a proposal on my birthday, we went through the arduous visa process before moving here.
We worked as high school teachers together until we had our first daughter, Chloe. It was at this time that Phil bought me my first dslr camera. The rest, as they say, is history. While I taught high school English part time and raised our daughter, I also built up a photography business, capturing mostly families and learned my craft and developed my style. Three years ago, I began specializing in weddings which I have been lucky enough to make my full time career. In September of 2015, we were blessed by the birth of our second daughter, Summer.
From the beginning, Phil encouraged me to go full time into my photography business and had complete faith it would go well. Raising children and balancing work and life is challenging– it is challenging for all couples with young children. But I have my best friend by my side (who happens to be ridiculously cute). I just had to go halfway across the globe to find him.